A great cup of coffee doesn’t happen accidentally. You get a great cup of coffee with the right ingredients:
You need to start with a high-quality bean, roasted to the right level of caramelization.
You need clean filtered water heated to the right temperature.
And you need to grind your beans to the right consistency for the kind of coffee you want.
When you grind your beans, having a consistent size grind, combined with the right temperature and amount of water, will draw out the best flavor in your cup.
So what size grind do you need? It all depends on which kind of coffee you want to make:
Extra coarse grind — this is a very large grind, similar in size to the cracked peppercorns. This grind is perfect for cowboy coffee and cold brew.
Coarse grind — this is slightly smaller than the largest grind. The size should be similar to coarse sea salt. This grind is good for French press, percolator brewing, and coffee cupping.
Medium-coarse grind — when ground this way, your coffee should look closer to rough sand. This grind is good for Chemex, clever dripper, and cafe solo brewing.
Medium grind — this grind is a little finer, closer to regular sand. You can often find it in pre-ground coffee bags. It is a great grind for drip coffee, Aeropress, pour-overs, and siphon brewers.
Medium-fine grind — not quite as fine as an espresso grind, but pretty close. It is good for pour-over coffee.
Fine grind — this is frequently one of the sizes that you’ll find in pre-ground coffee bags. Also known as espresso grind. It is perfect for espresso (obviously) and a Moka pot (stovetop espresso maker).
Extra-fine grind — this is a powder-fine grind, similar to the texture of flour. This grind is perfect for Turkish coffee.
How do you achieve a perfect grind?
If you grind your own coffee, you likely use either a burr grinder or a blade grinder.
The burr grinder uses uniform pressure and rotation to crush your coffee beans into a consistent texture. Because it uses a lower speed, it also doesn’t heat up your coffee beans. So you’re less likely to alter the flavor of your coffee.
The blade grinder is more common because it is inexpensive and easy to use. But the blade tends to cut coffee unevenly. And because it whirrs so quickly, it produces heat that can change the flavor of your coffee.
With a few simple grinding “hacks” you can make your blade grinder work almost as well as the burr grinder.
At Tower Roasting, we send you fresh-roasted, whole bean coffee that's ready to grind for whatever style of coffee you desire.